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Ouzan, Perrone defeat challengers

March 06, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Knocking out an incumbent, Calexicans elected two young politicians to the City Council: David Ouzan and Alex Perrone.

Ouzan, 35, garnered 1,425 votes, or 20.81 percent of the vote, while Perrone, 41, netted 1,207, or 17.63 percent, according to unofficial results. Ouzan owns a downtown store and a local eatery. Perrone is economic development director for El Centro's Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program.

The two will replace Javier Alatorre and Gilbert Grijalva.

Alatorre lost in his bid for re-election, finishing fourth among 10 candidates. Alatorre picked up 1,014 votes, or 14.81 percent. Grijalva lost in his bid for the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors.

Mayor Victor Carrillo was successful in his bid for the county Board of Supervisors. Carrillo's win over incumbent Supervisor Tony Tirado will open another seat on the council.

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How that seat will be filled has yet to be decided. The council could vote to have a special election or could appoint someone, according to City Clerk Lourdes Cordova.

Some of the candidates might seek that third seat. Of those, freelance consultant Lupita Rios, captured 1,039 votes, 15.17 percent to finish third; director of Calexico Neighborhood House Ricardo Ortega garnered 773 votes, or 11.29 percent; retiree Henry Legaspi collected 719 votes, 10.8 percent; librarian Sylvia Bernal received 232 votes, or 3.39 percent; law enforcement officer David De Leon received 204 votes, or 2.98 percent; handyman Carlos Rocha got 123 votes, or 1.8 percent and immigration consultant James Beaver, who dropped out of the race but was still listed on the ballot, received 84 votes, 1.23 percent.

At 2:10 this morning Ouzan was ecstatic.

"I thank the people of Calexico for making that good choice! I appreciate the help of all my campaign friends, special thanks to Ricardo Kincaide and Francisco Salazar," he said.

Right after the results were announced, Ouzan called his mom in Israel.

"She was a little bit in shock. She didn't know what I was talking about," he said.

After passing on his well-wishes to his family he started celebrating anew.

"I'm not going to be sleeping tonight," he said.

Perrone said, "I'm very grateful to the people on my committee. If it wasn't for my family and my committee members I wouldn't be here."

He listened to the results broadcast over the radio shortly after 1:50 a.m.

"We've been stuck to the radio and calling the election department every 20 minutes," he said.

Earlier in the evening, Perrone was a little concerned.

"It didn't start too good for me and David," he said.

Early results had the pair behind Alatorre.

As for the bang for his campaign buck, Perrone said, "That's not bad for $4,600. (Perrone listed $4,600 in campaign donations and expenditures) and that's what I'm going to do for the city. Be a good steward of the money."

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com

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